LETTER: Security Industry Authority responds to the jailing of burglar Vernon Baker

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The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has responded to an article reporting on the jailing of an Eastbourne burglar.

Vernon Baker, 41, of Appledore Close, was jailed for a second time at Lewes Crown Court last after pleading guilty to being involved in three more burglaries.

Writing to this newspaper, Alero Harrison, deputy director communications and stakeholder engagement, said: “In your article you reported that Vernon Baker, who was convicted at Lewes Crown

Court on Monday 28 November held a Security Industry Authority (SIA) Licence.

“This is not the case, Vernon Baker has never held a SIA Licence.

“The article also asserted that the SIA was unavailable for comment which is unfortunate as we did in fact send a timely response to the query from your reporter who has since advised that our response was missed because it went into his spam box.

“The SIA is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the United Kingdom, reporting to the Home Secretary under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act (2001). One of our key roles is to protect the public.

“We do this by operating a robust licensing process to determine whether a person is suitably qualified and ‘fit and proper’ to hold a SIA Licence.”

Editor’s footnote: “Our article accurately reported evidence given at Lewes Crown Court.

“We regret that we did not receive the SIA response at the time through no fault of them or ourselves.”